KABUL, Afghanistan — The international Red Cross warned Wednesday of an increase in the number of Afghan armed groups operating in the country as bombings killed three children and a NATO soldier in separate attacks in southern Afghanistan.
NATO said the service member was killed in a blast early Wednesday in the south, while three boys — aged 10, 11 and 12 years — died in an explosion on the outskirts of Kandahar city, according to Khan Mohammad Mujhid, the police chief in Kandahar province.
Mujhid said a remote-controlled bomb, which was set up on a bicycle, exploded in a parking lot that serves as a gathering place for Afghans traveling to and from Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj pilgrimage. "How could anyone attack this pilgrimage center?" asked Haji Alam, the father of two of the children who were killed. "I don't know how can a Muslim do that?"
NATO said the attack also seriously wounded nine people, including two children and an Afghan policeman.